Sotira Lykodimou Church (Russian Church)

Sotira Lykodimou Church (Russian Church), Athens

Sotira Lykodimou Church (Russian Church)

Sotira Lykodimou Church (Russian Church)
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About
The Sotira Lykodimou Church (better known locally as the Russian Church, since the Russians bought and restored the building during the 19th century) is Athens' largest medieval building and one of the most important Byzantine monuments of the 11th century. It is a domed octagon with a low roof, and tall, three-sided apses.
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Plan your visit

The area
Neighborhood: Syntagma
Perhaps the best place to get your bearings is Syntagma Square, crowned by the imposing Parliament building on its upper side and surrounded by other large structures, such as the exclusive Hotel Grande Bretagne. The grand avenues that lead towards Omonia are also full of massive Neoclassical edifices like the Numismatic Museum and those around smaller Platia Kolokotroni. Here you will find lots of travel agents, bookshops and fashion shops, especially on Ermou Street. Just south of Syntagma Square, you can take a breather in the lush National Gardens, which extend into the grounds of the Zappeio palace and beyond to the ancient Temple of Olympian Zeus.
How to get there
  • Syntagma • 3 min walk
  • Nomismatokopio • 6 min walk
Popular mentions

4.0
41 reviews
Excellent
8
Very good
21
Average
12
Poor
0
Terrible
0

phat_dawg_21
Alpharetta, GA12,242 contributions
The Russian Church
Aug 2021
This approximately 1,000 year old church has a rather plain exterior, but its notable points are the octagon dome which is not commonly used in Greek architecture, and the free standing bell tower.

No photos are allowed inside.
Written October 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

REDMAN
Egaleo, Greece3,899 contributions
One of 6
Jan 2020
That way of building is used in 6 churches all over Greece. Octagon Dome. Learn about it on the tour that we had with Urban Adventures.
Written February 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

SoCalOregonian
Murrieta, CA9,514 contributions
RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
Dec 2019
This church located close to one entrance to the national garden was originally built in the 11th century and is the largest surviving Byzantine church in town. The interior is very dark, but loaded with many gilded icons and numerous frescos. NO PHOTOS ALLOWED INSIDE and there is an individual who sits inside the door to monitor the interior. So please respect their request and not take photos of the interior. The bell tower is not attached to the church building but sits a little distance from the church.
Written January 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

davidandmel
Birmingham, UK1,341 contributions
Russian Orthodox Church
May 2019 • Couples
This little church is lovely inside with a high dome and neoclassical icons - a welcome refuge from the city bustle
Written June 7, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jivko V
Sofia, Bulgaria1,543 contributions
Russian Orthodox Church
Jan 2019 • Friends
Sotira Lykodimou Church (Russian Church) is located close to the National garden and the Parliament. It was closed during our visit, so we saw it only from outside.
Written March 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

SEs
London, UK25,849 contributions
Church
Oct 2018 • Friends
This is another beautiful church here. The architecture is slightly different from the other churches around here.
Written November 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

flaneur40
New York City, NY1,718 contributions
Unique church to enter if open
Oct 2018 • Solo
It is one of the few former Greek orthodox churches to be structured on an octagon pattern. It is a beautiful starry ceiling with stained glass and it now the Russian orthodox cathedral in Athens. It is worth entering if you find it open while walking north toward Parliament from Hadrian's Arch.
Written October 13, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

David nJacquie O
429 contributions
Curious Russian Orthodox Church in Orthodox Greece
Oct 2017 • Couples
If you have time and are interested in the variations in theme that exist for Greek, Russian and Byzantine Orthodox churches then this is well worth visiting. No photography inside is a little irritating given that isn't any brochure or other material to purchase to keep a record of your visit. Could do with a serious restoration too.
Written September 20, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

John H
London, UK624 contributions
A beautiful 11th century church
Jul 2018 • Couples
This 11th century church sits in a pleasant square near the National Gardens in Athens & has previously been used as a convent & a Benedictine monastery. The church was severely damaged in 1821 during the Greek War of Independence & was acquired in 1847 by the Russian community in Athens who restored it with the help of Tsars Nicholas I & Alexander II (Tsar Alexander II paid for the church's bell tower). The frescoes & icons inside the church were painted by Ludwig Thiersch & the church was inaugurated in 1855. In 1905 it was again severely damaged this time by an earthquake but was again repaired, & now holds services in both Greek & Russian.
Written August 21, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

snowridr
Karjat, India164 contributions
Amazing church to visit in the city.
Jun 2018 • Family
As many of the other reviews will say, it is a small Byzantine Church from the 11th century. It has suffered damage over the centuries and the surrounding wall was destroyed by a Ottoman official. The church was bought by the Russian Government in the mid 1800s and restored. Inside every you look are religious paintings and icons. Several are under glass with decorated with precious stones and silver. You may light candles and offer prayers there during the day. There is also a huge chandelier which is impressive when lit. When we were there, an Orthodox priest was there speaking with a woman so we didn’t get to look all around the church but it is certainly worth 1/2 hour of your time. As you leave there are miniature icons, pins, crucifixes candles and books for sale on your right hand side. Outside there is a bell tower that was added by the Russians in the 19th century. There is no photography allowed inside the church.
Written June 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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